Divorce Attorney

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The Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) underwent drastic changes, and were put into effect on January 1, 2016. The new statutes have changed the way divorce and related matters in family law cases used to be handled. The alterations in the IMDMA were made by taking into account the changes occurred in society and families over the passage of time.

Here we have discussed the major changes and how they affect the divorce process in Illinois:

Grounds for Divorce

Before the IMDMA was modified, couples can file for divorce based on any of the following grounds in Illinois:

  • Adultery
  • Bigamy
  • Conviction for a felony or any other crime
  • Physical or mental cruelty
  • Gross and confirmed habits because of continued use of addictive substances (2 years or more)
  • Habitual drunkenness (for 2 years or more)
  • Infecting the other spouse with a STI or STD
  • Irreconcilable differences
  • Natural impotence
  • Threat to one’s life
  • Willful desertion
  • However, after January 1, 2016, the only ground for divorce is irreconcilable difference. While Illinois has been a no-fault divorce state for some time now, the updated law requires both parties to proclaim that irreconcilable differences are the cause of irretrievable breakdown of their marriage. The couple must also prove that all attempts to reconciliation have either failed or would be impracticable – meaning that they will only deteriorate their relationship even more.


  • Reduction of Waiting Period
    The waiting period has been reduced from 2 years to 6 months under the new IMDMA guidelines. It is important to note that the courts will approve the dissolution of marriage case even if the couple resided in the same house for 6 months, but are able to establish that they lived separate and apart during that time. This means that the couple has to show they have maintained separate living arrangements, for example, having separate bedrooms.
  • Changes to Co-Parenting
    Prior to the changes, the terms custodial parent and non-custodial parent were used in child custody cases, and visitation rights were also assigned to the latter. However, “visitation” and “child custody” have now been replaced with “allocation of parenting time and responsibility”. The parenting responsibility has also been divided into four different categories, namely, religious, education, medical, and extra-curricular. The divorcing parents will split up these responsibilities and decide who will make decision regarding each category during the divorce proceedings.
  • Changes pertaining to Relocation
    Another important change has been made to how relocation is dealt with after divorce. Previously, the divorced parents had the luxury to move to any location within the state with their children without a court order, and required a court approval in case of moving to a different state. But now, if parents are moving anywhere farther than 25 miles, they will have to get court approval.


If you like to get more information on how new Illinois laws affect your divorce case, you should contact Casement Group, P.C. today at (847) 888-9300 for a free consultation with an experienced and reliable divorce attorney.